Korea Tourism Organization holds Travel Mart and Festival in Mumbai, signs MoU with OTOAI

In a bid to promote South Korea among the Indian travel trade community, Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) New Delhi recently organised a day-long Tourism Travel Mart and Korea Night on April 12, as a part of introducing the key Indian B2B tour operators and travel industry stakeholders to the newest tourism offerings from South Korea. This was followed by a two-day long Korea Culture and Tourism Festival for travel enthusiasts, from April 13 to April 14.

Tourism Travel Mart and Korea Night

The day began with a press conference aimed at sharing KTO’s future plans and endeavours in extending their footprint in the Indian travel industry and announcement of the Culture and Tourism Festival in Mumbai. The occasion was graced by Park Jeong Ha, Executive Vice President, KTO International Tourism Division along with Kwon Jong Sool, Director, Korea Tourism Organization. Delivering the keynote address at the morning session, the Executive Vice President commented, “We are very pleased to host the Korea Culture and Tourism Festival in Mumbai, the centre for economy and tourism industry in India. The festival will allow Indians to feel and experience traditional as well as modern Korean culture. The number of Indians travelling to South Korea is on the rise. Around 100,000 Indians visited South Korea in 2018 and the numbers are growing with an average rate of 10-15% year-on-year. With our New Southern Policy being emphasised by President Moon Jae In, we are positive that India will be one of the important markets to drive growth in terms of tourist numbers.”

The Tourism Travel Mart saw the participation of nine Destination Management Companies alongside four  Regional Tourism Organisation which included Gimhae City, Gyeonggi Tourism Organization, Incheon Airport and Jeju Tourism Organization. The Korean Film Commission & Industry Network representing the entire entourage of South Korea’s 12 film commissions as well as the Seoul Film Commission were also present at the B2B travel mart.  

KTO and OTOAI join hands

As a part of the initiative to promote South Korea as a tourism destination in India, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Park Jeong Ha, Executive Vice President, KTO International Tourism Division and Mahendra Vakharia, President,  OTOAI. The association will see OTOAI promoting South Korea as a Focus Country for 2019, organising multi-city seminars in collaboration with KTO to educate the Indian travel trade community on South Korea as a MICE, Business and Leisure destination.

Speaking at the occasion, Kwon Jong Sool, Director, Korea Tourism Organization, said, “India has always been an important country for us. South Korea has immense to offer in terms of tourism for regular travellers as well as the MICE market. We believe there is tremendous untapped potential and this two-day festival will help us garner interest and create more awareness about South Korea amongst Indian travellers. We will continue to invest in promoting Korea for Indian travellers and this MoU reinstates our attempt in doing so. We look forward to a long-standing partnership with the OTOAI in making Korea the first choice for India travellers.

In order to further South Korea’s appeal to the Indian traveller, a unique guidebook titled ‘Indian Friendly Restaurants in Korea’ was also launched at the event. The guidebook is aimed at providing holistic information about restaurants that not just serve Indian cuisines but are also palatable to them.

The Travel Tourism Mart provided crucial networking opportunities through one-to-one interaction with all participants and was followed by a celebratory Korea Night. All guests were treated to  South Korean hospitality through a selection of Korean culture-inspired gifts, food and beverages as well as a mesmerising performance by Korean Fusion Band, Queen.

Korea Culture and Tourism Festival

A two-day long experiential series of events was organised by KTO with the purpose of reaching out to the enthusiastic Indian tourist. Held at the High Street Phoenix, the festival had the best of Korean culture, entertainment and tourism offerings on display. The key attractions included exciting performances by famous Korean artists and music bands including Queen, AlexandrA, In2It and Gamblerz Crew.

Visitors also sampled traditional Korean delicacies in the form of Bibimbap (an assorted rice dish) and Sujeonggwa (a cinnamon-flavoured punch). The opportunity to wear the Hanbok, Korea’s celebratory attire added an experiential dimension to the festivities. Name stamping in Hangeul, mask painting and face painting kept visitors happily engaged.

The Korea Culture and Tourism Festival boasted of dedicated Hallyu Zone, Performance Zone, Experience Zone, VR & Calligraphy Zone, Photo Zone, Game Zone, Food Zone, Regional Tourism Zone and Redemption Zone to provide a holistic Korean experience to every visitor. All activities were arranged in line with the campaign idea, ‘Imagine Your Korea’.

It needs no mentioning that Indian travel agents were also present at the festival with special Korean packages on offer.

The Korea Culture and Tourism Festival concluded with Korea Movie Weekend organised by Korea Culture Centre at PVR, Juhu.

On an ending note

Korea Tourism Organization’s efforts in making a mark in the Indian travel market were well-supplied by the tactful execution of multifaceted activities for both the B2B and B2C travel communities. It is not far-fetched to say that KTO has left no stone unturned in capturing the Indian imagination.